Rummage sales benefit community at every stage of the resale business

Photo courtesy of LAUMC
Shoppers find treasures and oddities at the Los Altos United Methodist Church rummage sale.

Rummage sales have survived many of the disruptions reconfiguring retail – the spread of online networks may have only strengthened the tradition of assembling a mass of secondhand goods as a community fundraiser.

May represents a boom time in local rummage sales, with Los Altos United Methodist Church and Foothills Congregational Church holding decades-old efforts that draw shoppers from around the Bay Area and, in a few cases of nostalgia and longtime participation, even out of state. The city of Mountain View recently hosted a citywide garage sale, mapping out 175 participating homes and groups who opened their card tables of excess goods to the community. Other community sales dot the year’s calendar.

LA council hashes out next steps for retail sales of cannabis

Retail and delivery cannabis shops could soon be budding in Los Altos after the city council directed staff to conduct outreach and prepare an ordinance on taxing marijuana businesses.

After Proposition 64 legalized recreational cannabis in November 2016, the city adopted an urgency ordinance to temporarily prohibit medicinal and adult-use commercial cannabis sales within city limits. Since then, the council asked staff to research allowing cannabis businesses in Los Altos and imposing a local tax on them.

Mtn. View council blazes forward with cannabis zoning

The Mountain View City Council largely signed off on preliminary plans to license and zone cannabis retail within the city earlier this month, a move that could make it one of the first cities on the Peninsula to join San Jose in permitting recreational marijuana shops later this year.

The city’s staff recommended a lottery-based approval process for selecting shop operators, citing the intensive volume of applications received by some cities, a desire for fairness and the need to not violate land-use requirements that bar favoring any one specific applicant based on his or her perceived characteristics. At their May 8 council meeting, council members questioned how a streamlined permitting process could still privilege applicants that appeared to demonstrate prior experience or other signals of likely future success, but overall supported the staff’s proposed approach.

Comings and Goings: New shops appear, while old favorites breathe new life

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Art of capital cities from countries that ring the Mediterranean has been arriving at Yusuf Tosun’s expanded space for Cafe Nur, above, a restaurant on Main Street with Turkish specialties.

A shop exclusively devoted to Taiwanese tea and snacks has secured a spot in downtown Los Altos. T4 Los Altos is scheduled to take over 131 Main St., previously the longtime home of women’s clothing store Shoko Los Altos, this summer.

The boba tea cafe offers chilled black tea with big, chewy tapioca pearls floating in its depths – the signature drink for the style – but also smoothies, snacks and other teas.

Former founder launches local effort aimed at teaching 'NIMBLE' mindset

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mariette Wharton moved back to Los Altos ready to share her entrepreneurial mindset with a new audience.

After nearly a decade of nonstop scramble while co-founding and then selling her own startup, Los Altos resident Mariette Wharton liked the idea of gaining more control over the pace of her own work. She also had an interest in mentorship after experiencing meaningful moments of coaching early in her own career.

“There can be these seminal moments, where you can point out to somebody – do a self-assessment. How do your strengths and weaknesses work with your sense of purpose?” she said.

The Vault locks down 2 more years on First St.

Chris Lampe, manager of Los Altos Vault & Safe Deposit Co., said he never really gave up hope when it came to the Vault staying in business. His hope became a reality April 13 when owner Betine Lee signed the deal they had been looking for – a two-year lease extension with property owner Los Altos Community Investments.

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos Vault & Safe Deposit Co., above, will remain in business on First Street for at least two more years. Owner Betine Lee inked a lease deal with Los Altos Community Investments April 13.

Earlier this year, Lee announced that the private vault, located at 121 First St., would close its doors June 1 if LACI principal Anne Wojcicki, CEO of 23andMe, didn’t offer her more than a six-month lease.

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